Two businesses which specialise in treatments for the human body are to benefit from Independent Quarter funding from Oldham Council.
Fourteen months ago Oldham resident Karen Sedgwick took the plunge and ploughed all her savings into buying 129 Union Street and setting up the Hair Lounge salon.
Karen only had enough money to refurbish the ground floor when she started out.
Now thanks to a £10,000 grant from Oldham Council she will be able to convert the vacant first floor into a beauty salon and treatment room – creating two new jobs.
Refurbishment work is set to begin soon after a busy festive period.
Karen, from Crompton, said: “With the funding from the council this will help my business grow to the next level.
“I was thrilled to hear I’d been given the grant as I had used all my savings to purchase the property and refurbish the ground floor.
“I can’t wait to get started and bring more custom to Oldham.
“I have faith that this will be a great area for business and for people to come shopping.
“I’m glad Oldham Council had faith in me and gave me this grant.”
Another beneficiary is Tennant Podiatry, set up 35 years ago, it has patients that travel from as far as Cumbria, Birmingham and Cheshire to seek help for their foot ailments.
The business is owned by Paul and Jay Tennant and was originally started by Paul’s father. The firm’s reputation for providing a trusted and professional service has enabled it to keep hold of patients through economic hardships and become a well-established name in the area.
Tennant’s, based at 98 Union Street, has been awarded £10,000 towards the cost of a full renovation of the basement and the building of an extension at the rear of the building.
The additional space will incorporate additional treatment rooms, a purpose built decontamination room for instruments and a secure clinical waste area. More employees will now be needed as the business grows in size.
Paul said “This funding will help us provide more services so the community can benefit. We are already contacting local GP practices, running clubs and gyms, offering individuals free foot assessments and advice so that they can see what we have to offer.”
“Working with residents is important to us and we are keen to work with other businesses to hold events and provide education on foot health care.”
Councillor Jim McMahon, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “Business owners like Karen and Phil are exactly what the Independent Quarter is all about and that’s why the council is helping them.
“Fourteen months ago Karen showed faith in the town centre by talking a chance and opening her hairdressers. Now that move is paying off and we are right behind her plans to expand and create jobs.
“Paul’s family run business is well established and our grant shows that we are happy to support people who are moving into the Independent Quarter, but also those who have been here a long time and have served residents for years.
“I wish both of them all the best for the future as people like them, and other independent traders, have an important role to play in the regeneration of our town centre.”
Since the Independent Quarter initiative was launched in 2013 a number of traders have already moved or relocated into new premises after receiving support.
The initial focus is to support businesses in the Independent Quarter in the triangle between Yorkshire Street, Clegg Street and Union Street East.
For further information on Oldham’s Independent Quarter visit: www.iqoldham.co.uk or call 0161 770 2077.